Trip Report Pomp & Circumstance… Sunshine & Shadows… A Different Kind of Disney Trip (Completed)

Hello my friends! I know. I know. I have gone MIA AGAIN with an unfinished TR from September, and as @fractal pointed out, I do owe you not 1 ½ , but 2 ½ TR’s!

And now it is soon to 3 ½ …

I know I should pick up where I left off and not skip ahead, but writing has always been therapeutic for me and the last several months have been surreal. I’m thinking maybe if I write about it, maybe I will feel a little better.

This past December, my folks came to stay with us for the holidays.


Right after Christmas, my mom decided that she did not want to go back to my brother’s house in NJ. She decided she wanted to stay with us in NY. I think she sensed something and wanted to be close to the area she and my dad were born and raised. Since January, my dad has spent 5 weeks in and out of the hospital. Finally, he said no more trips to the hospital. He made me promise him, so we called Hospice. Sadly, my daddy passed away last week.


He was at home with all of us around him. He missed his 90th birthday by just a week. I guess he knew Heaven would give him a grander party. I miss him. I don’t think I’ve really accepted it yet. It just doesn’t seem real.

This is us on my wedding day…


So that’s the shadows I feel around me.

The sunshine? Well that goes with the pomp & circumstance… Julia has graduated from Full Sail University with a Bachelors of Science in 3D Computer Animation. So proud of my girl! She had a bittersweet birthday last week losing her pop-pop.


We will be flying down to Orlando for her commencement on May 10th. And since Full Sail is only about twenty minutes from Disney, Julia asked to go to her favorite park (EPCOT) for a day. She also asked to eat at Morimoto and maybe sneak a few hours in at the Studios. We will be flying out on Tuesday and back to NY on Saturday. So many memories to make…

This will be the first time we will be staying off site. We are staying at a “good neighbor” hotel in Lake Buena Vista, but it will definitely be a different kind of trip for us. Actually, I feel a great deal of guilt leaving my mom so soon after my dad passed. My brothers will both be staying at my house with her, but she is so attached to me… I’m not sure how this is going to go. I can’t even be out of the house for more than an hour without her having one of my girls call me and make sure I’m coming home soon. My parents were married for 69 years!!! I can’t imagine the grief my mom feels.

While I feel all that guilt, I also can’t wait to board that plane, close my eyes and just BREATHE. It’s been quite a stressful four months.

So here is my attempt at journaling this time… filled with so many emotions… from joy and happiness to sorrow and pain. Our time of sunshine and shadows.

Figment Forever

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Original Poster
It was time for Test Track.


I have to admit this is one refurbishment I’m happy to see. I never really liked this version of it. And it seems that the design a car screens don’t work like they used to.


Our LL for Guardians was called, but the ride was down, so we were allowed to return any time that night.

I was happy we didn’t have to rush because it was finally time for our very special meet and greet with none other than…

Figment Forever

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Original Poster
@Tuvalu !!!!!!

It was so exciting to finally meet her! Hope was even more excited than I was. She was ecstatic to see than Tuvalu did not only exist on the computer and that she was indeed a “real” person! Lol


I finally got a card!! Lol


After a short conversation and some photos, we parted ways. I was so mad at myself… life had been so crazy that I really didn’t plan our meet up so well. I would have loved to have been able to sit down and share a meal or a snack. Well.. we will have to plan on a next time! Could that be a reason to renew our passes???

Figment Forever

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Original Poster
I'm still waiting to have more than a 2 minute meet-up with Tu! But I've had lunch in Germany and Brunch in Disney Springs and a rest in the DVC Lounge and a couple other assorted meetings with you guys, so I'm a happy Dizfan!

I cant tell you how much we all enjoy hanging out with you guys! And you have No idea how happy Julia was to hang out in the DVC lounge! She says that was her 2nd most favorite part of the trip!! lol I think you know what her most favorite part was... and if I ever finish that trip report, everyone else will know too! lol I'm sad because it looks like we will miss your b-day this year! Our passes expire on the 11th. :(

Figment Forever

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Original Poster
After our visit…. Julia went off to meet back up with Nick. Ross, Hope and I ventured off to the Creations Shop to pick up our magnets. The CM’s there didn’t mind that Ross did not have an ID and gave us 3.


Once we had our prize, Hope and I rode GoG. So far we have gotten I Ran, September, and Disco Inferno. Hope was THRILLED that we got a new song… I was not because I HATE the song we got! It’s funny how the ride feels a little different depending on the song. Am I crazy thinking that? I think my favorite is I Ran followed by Disco Inferno. Ross and I actually saw A Flock of Seagulls a couple of months ago when they played in my town!


We contemplated riding Nemo or SE, but instead we decided to wander back out into World Showcase. We took our time and had a few more snacks. Hope and I got a second refill of Maple popcorn from Canada. YUM!!



Julia texted me and asked if we were staying for Harmonious – no what is that show called?? Luminous – That’s it! Can you tell how much I (don’t) like it? However, I had no input – Hope loves the show so watch it we would.


As we left Epcot, we realized we were hungry. We were going to take a bus back to one of the resorts and get a quick bite. But then we realized we wanted pizza, so walked to Beach club and hopped on a bus to DS and then to Blaze - our favorite!

We left Blaze and walked through DS to the ride share area. It was so cool…. I thought the ride share area would be by the busses – but no… That area was past the original entrance. Gotta say , it was a much shorter walk than the busses for Pop!! Lol Soon, we were back at our resort and off to dreamland. It was a long packed day and as sad as I was, it was a lot of fun!!

Up Next : Pre- Graduation Dinner

Figment Forever

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Original Poster
So today was supposed to be a pool day. Our resort had a big old pirate ship slide that was very interesting and I was looking forward to relaxing for the day. But then I thought maybe we could go to Typhoon Lagoon for a while. Unfortunately, Hope really wanted to go to MK for a bit. Julia and Nick wanted to spend the day off by themselves – they did not have a ticket for MK anyway. So the plan was to meet up at Morimoto for Julia’s pre graduation dinner.

That meant waling up at 7am again – but I managed…. And then I went back to sleep! Lol


We took our time – we were in no hurry which was weird for a Disney trip.


We left the resort around noon. We got a Lyft driver that didn’t know what she was doing … Instead of dropping us to the TTC, she attempted to enter MK lot. She was very quickly turned around. By the time she dropped us to the TTC, we were about 20 minutes over our ETA.


From there, we took the monorail to MK.


We enjoyed a few of our favorites…



I stopped for an ice coffee.


We went into Monsters Inc. Ross tried to hide his beard so they would not pick him for Sully, he really wants to be “That Guy”. He was not picked though. Sad, sad Ross.

It was getting close to dinner so we walked over to the Contemporary to catch a bus to DS.


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Figment Forever

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Original Poster
Julia was so super excited for this meal! She and Nick ate here during our September trip, but Ross, Hope and I never have.

When we arrived, I checked in and was told they were going to sit us in a private area. It was upstairs and it was very nice.


The food was yummy and our graduate was happy.


We also celebrated Nick’s birthday that was in just a few days.


Figment Forever

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Original Poster
After dinner the plan was to head back to the resort and get an early bedtime. Did that happen? Nick and Julia remained in DS and Ross, Hope and I headed back to MK via the Contemporary.


We rode Peter Pan and Haunted Mansion and then settled in to watch HEA.


It was awesome. We were beat. We walked back to the Contemporary and from there got a Lyft back to our Resort. Tomorrow was graduation day!!

Figment Forever

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Original Poster
Friday, May 10th - Graduation Celebration!
When I first announced that I would be homeschooling Julia in 2005 and not sending her to preschool, one of the top concerns people had was, “How will she ever get into college?” Yes…at 3 years old I had some family members who were highly appalled that I was preventing my child from getting into college. Thankfully, their fears never concerned me. Our journey was incredible and I watched my daughter grow up in what seems like a blink of the eye. And here she was graduating with honors and ready to take on the world.

Unfortunately, Julia’s class – the 3-D Animation students would be in the first ceremony of the day – which meant check in was 6:30AM! So we found ourselves outside our building and calling a lift a little before 6am. I know I was giving us more time than we probably needed, but I didn’t want to take a chance that there would be any delays. The day was just too important. There wasn’t too much traffic and we were one of the first people to arrive. They let us into the main build which was FREEEZING!! It was a desert outside and an igloo inside. We all waited – trying to be patient. Julia got emotional when she saw the cord meant to honor a military member. She had the intention of wearing hers and then presenting it to my dad when when returned home, but he passed before we left. She made the decision to let it go with him. But she was so sad thinking about it. I purchased another one and put it around her neck. I assured her that Pop-Pop would always be with her.

Finally, we were led into the auditorium and watched my baby girl become a college graduate!


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After the ceremony, we took a few more photos before calling a Lyft to take us back to the hotel.

Figment Forever

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
After that, we split up. Julia and Nick went their way and Ross, Hope and I just walked around and did a few things.



Shakin Jamaican for the win! I was hoping to get a cold brew from Galaxy's Edge, but Joffreys was in our path.

We ate at Backlot Express – nothing spectacular, but it was tasty.


We did Make it a Galaxy far far away...


I have been wanting this photo for a LONG time!!


I asked their permission and I got an "Affirmative!"


I Face timed my brother and mom to meet Darth, so I had to get them in the photo! lol


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